Friday, February 8, 2013

#22 Host a fabulous tea party

This post is part of a new series I'm excited about at Most Days I Win. I've written a list of (mostly) small and manageable resolutions that I'd like to attempt in 2013. I've included things on my list that will continue to inspire me and lead me toward the kind of joy-filled life I've always loved. I'm using this list to commit, again and again, to doing things that make me laugh, make me happy, feelings I hope rub off on other people in the process. You can see the list of my 100 Resolutions Project (in two parts) here and here.

Sometimes all it takes is for a good friend to call and ask what we're up to. That's all it took a few Sundays ago. My friend Susan, having recently heard her daughter, Tori, declare that she'd like to live next door to Alyce, asked if she could visit us in Toronto for the day. Alyce and Tori were in the same junior kindergarten class last year when we were living in Cambridge and they still make moon eyes at each other when we get together. They are smitten and I love it. 

I love watching friendships take root because I know, I know, that friends make it possible to stand in the world with your shoulders back, head held high, and laugh all day long. Without my friends I'd feel naked.

Once it was decided that of course! we'd love to Susan and her girls over for the day (she has a second daughter a little older than Shira), we got to work. It was obvious to all of us: tea party. We began setting the table at once. Alyce got to making place cards, Shira chose our tea pot, and I collected fine linens (ironing not required). Alyce had just the day before made a paper flower for Tori and it served as the perfect centrepiece. I quickly made a dish of macaroni and cheese (my superpower is the ability to make mac and cheese blindfolded while hopping on one foot) and was relieved to find the brownie cookies we had made for Shabbat the previous Friday were still available. Sometimes cookies in our house disappear.

It was an amazing tea party, nothing too fancy, but the necessary elements were there. Tea pot filled with grape juice? Check. Good food? Check. A chance to celebrate a random Sunday with a gathering of good friends and a lot of giggles? Tea parties make me think of all the things I loved about childhood: make believe, celebrations, making the ordinary feel a bit more special. My daughters have inherited what seems to be a genetic predisposition to elevate an ordinary table into a place of magic. I watch them set their own Shabbat table throughout the week, adding just the right touches (like dinosaurs) around the usual Shabbat settings such as candles, kiddish cup, and challah board. They just know that there is something special that happens when we gather around a table.

P.S. Alyce has informed me that this technically wasn't a tea party because we did not send out invitations or have fancy food, like cake. I'm not sure where she found these rules, but who am I to argue? So while there might be another tea party in our future, but I'm counting this one, too.

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